DeLand’s Dependable Attorneys for Wills and Trusts
In Florida, a simple will is one where everything the person owns at death goes to the spouse. If the spouse passes before the will maker, then everything goes to the children. Simple wills can end up being costly. A simple will can be a good solution if the testator’s financial circumstances and family dynamics are basic and simple. The more complex the family situation, the more likely problems will arise. The estate planning attorneys at Taylor & Nordman, P.A. can assist in making an effective estate plan for your family.
Types of Wills
- Simple wills must go through the Florida probate process. You must file a petition with the court and prove the will is the last will of the decedent. You may not act as your own attorney unless the estate is under $6,000.
- It is best NOT to name a minor child as a beneficiary. If you name a minor as the beneficiary, the court will need to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem. A child will need to have a guardianship until the child is 18 years of age. If a child receives outright distribution at age 18, there is no guarantee the child will be mature enough to spend the money fruitfully. If the goal is to put aside the funds for the child’s college education, the funds may be spent on other purchases. It is better to start a safe harbor Trust, or protective educational trust as part of the living trust. You will need to appoint a Trustee for any money intended for minor children and grandchildren.
- Your adult child may be willed funds only to pay off credit card debt. There are legal solutions to ensure the money is not improperly spent by your adult child.
- To achieve these goals discussed above, many people choose a Revocable Living Trust.
A pour-over-will in Florida transfers all the person’s property and assets that are subject to probate into the decedent’s Trust when he/she passes away. This property is then distributed to the beneficiaries of the Trust. A pour-over-will states that any assets that have not been funded into your revocable living trust should be transferred to it when you die. This names your trust as the beneficiary of any property it does not already hold and doesn’t pass directly to a living beneficiary through some other means.
Wills with testamentary trusts
A testamentary trust is one which arises on the death of the testator, and which is specified in his or her will. A testamentary trust is contained in a last will and testament which provides for the distribution of all or part of an estate and may proceed from a life insurance policy held on the person who established the trust. The testamentary trust is most often created for minor children, relatives with disabilities, and others who may inherit a large sum of money which enters the estate after the testator’s death.
The trust is available at the completion of the probate process, after the death of the person that created the trust for the beneficiaries. The trustee of the testamentary trust is someone that the trust’s creator appoints to act in the best interest of the children and/or others receiving the trusts funds. It makes sense to opt for a testamentary trust if the person’s estate is small in comparison to the potential life insurance proceeds, or other amounts that will be paid to the estate at death. To set up a testamentary trust is usually inexpensive to include testamentary trusts provisions in the will preparation.
Contact us to discuss your estate plan
At Taylor and Nordman, P.A., we provide personalized advice for your estate plan. As probate attorneys, we are familiar with the nuances of the probate process. Our attorneys can assist you with matters such as living will, guardianship, health care surrogates, asset and wealth protection, and more. Call our office today at (386) 734-2558.